Dairy giant Fonterra has singled out four regions as future areas of significance on the world dairy stage. Henry van der Heyden, Fonterra's new chairman, said China, India, South America and Eastern Europe were all likely areas of opportunity over the next five or 10 years.
"We are expecting to see demand for dairy products in China grow 5% to 6%. We are seeing very strong demand across the south east region and, in the longer term, India will play an important role."
He added that the New Zealand-based dairy co-operative had already entered India by taking a small stake in an established company, while in China the organisation was working with partners to establish opportunities.
Fonterra has also entered into a liquid milk joint venture with Nestlé in South America.
Van der Heyden said: "We see South America having real potential to increase milk production."
He said the further enlargement of the EU would also lead to improvements in the economies in eastern Europe which could trigger a rise in demand for dairy products and a knock-on effect on the global market. He said Fonterra was looking to move up the value chain and increase its interests in specialist ingredients and consumer sales.